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Race and the Incidence of Unemployment in South Africa

  • Geeta Gandhi Kingdon
  • John Knight

South Africa's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world, and it has important distributional implications. The paper examines both entry into and duration of unemployment using data for the mid-1990s. A probit model of unemployment shows an important role for race, education, age, gender, home-ownership, location, and numerous other variables, all of which have plausible explanations. The large race gap in unemployment is explored further by means of a decomposition analysis akin to that normally used to analyze wage discrimination. There remains a substantial residual which might represent unobserved characteristics, such as quality of education, or discrimination. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004..

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 198-222

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:8:y:2004:i:2:p:198-222
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  1. Allanson, Paul & Atkins, Jonathan P & Hinks, Timothy, 2002. "No End to the Racial Wage Hierarchy in South Africa?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 442-59, October.
  2. Hughes, Gordon & McCormick, Barry & McCormick, Barry, 1987. "Housing markets, unemployment and labour market flexibility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 615-641, April.
  3. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1999. "School Inputs And Educational Outcomes In South Africa," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1047-1084, August.
  4. Nickell, Stephen J, 1980. "A Picture of Male Unemployment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 776-94, December.
  5. Blackaby, D. H. & Leslie, D. G. & Murphy, P. D. & O'Leary, N. C., 1998. "The ethnic wage gap and employment differentials in the 1990s: Evidence for Britain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 97-103, January.
  6. Blackaby, David, et al, 1999. "Unemployment among Britain's Ethnic Minorities," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
  7. Paul Frijters, 1998. "Hiring on the basis of expected productivity in a South African clothing firm," Discussion Papers Series 441, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  8. Sandrine Rospabé, 2001. "Making Racial Wage Relations Fair in South Africa: A Focus on the Role of Trade Unions," Working Papers 01048, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  9. Gaute Erichsen & Jeremy Wakeford, 2001. "Racial Wage Discrimination in South Africa: Before and After the First Democratic Election," Working Papers 01049, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  10. Knight, J B & McGrath, M D, 1977. "An Analysis of Racial Wage Discrimination in South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 39(4), pages 245-71, November.
  11. Stephan Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 1999. "Levels, trends and consistency of employment and unemployment figures in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 3-35.
  12. Blackaby, D. H. & Clark, K. & Leslie, D. G. & Murphy, P. D., 1994. "Black-white male earnings and employment prospects in the 1970s and 1980s evidence for Britain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 273-279, November.
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